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Toby: Hi Everyone and thank you for joining us today. As a reminder the topic today is "The Student Experience". We have a handful of current students here today to answer any questions you have about the time they have spent in the program.
Patricia: Hello Everyone! I'm Patricia Coffey, Associate Director of Admissions. Looking forward to a great chat today!
Kelechi: Hello, Welcome! My name is Kelechi Agada, I am with XP80.
Renee: Hello, my name is Renee McMahon. I'm a Chicagoan and a member of XP-80. I look forward to helping answer any questions that you might have.
Patty: Welcome, everyone! I am Patty Keegan, associate dean of executive MBA. Thanks for joining us today.
G-254487862: Are there students on this panel?
Renee: Yes,there are four students with us. I am one of the second years students
G-254484158: The application provides a resume template. If I am comfortable with the format I have and it complies with the required length, may I use my own format?
Patty: Hello. We provide the resume template not only for its length but because our career services team uses your resume when they meet with you as a student. It makes the transition and the conversation easier.
mbaileyh_1: Hello, I'd like to know how much team/group collaboration is involved in standard coursework?
Elizabeth: We are assigned to study groups by the staff which we work with for two semester at a time before we switch groups. Pretty much every class has both individual and group homework assignments that we work on in these assigned groups. Both of my study groups have had people from all over the country so we usually down one or two calls each week and then collaborate over e-mail as well prior to class weekend.
SKT: Hello Everyone! Pleasure to be here. I live in Houston, TX. I may have difficulty getting to Booth on Friday morning before the class. How do the students who fly from other cities manage the challenge of being there either on Thursday evening or early on Friday?
Chris: Hi SKT: My name is Chris Moore and I attend the EMBA program at Chicago Booth. I reside in Atlanta and I generally fly in on Thurs evenings (or sometimes Fri mornings). Classes start @ 9am on Fri mornings so if you can get an early flt out on Fri mornings into Chgo Midway airport, you can manage things fine with no problem.
frankl_1: What kind of time commitment is required during the work week?
Kelechi: It will vary from class to class. I typically devoted about 10 hours per week. Now this may increase or decrease depending on amount of work due.
Evan: to the students: what was the hardest thing about getting started in the program (what was the thing that took the most adjustment)?
Renee: Hi Evan, the hardest part for me was trying to remember how to study again! Getting back into the swing of going to class wasn't so difficult - it was fun to be in that environment again. But making sure you had the discipline to work after work was a little tough to adjust to. It came fairly quickly though.
Marsoi: How do you guys managed class, homework and out of class study groups? What issues have you found to coordinate your jobs, family, travel time?
Chris: Hi Marsoi, you have asked the $10,000 question which is how does one juggle family, work and school simultaneously? Well, the answer is: DON'T THINK ABOUT IT. Meaning, if you stop and think, "how am I doing this?" you will experience anxiety. :) You'll learn to better manage your time and you will also come to the recognition that you will not be able to do too many social things while you are studying. Trust me, your friends and family will be so thrilled that you are getting your MBA that they will understand. Time goes by REALLY fast, though. You can do it!!!
G-254487862: I see that one of the students is from Atlanta. Where do the other three reside?
Toby: Chris lives in Atlanta and the other three students, Renee, Elizabeth and Kelechi are all in Chicago.
frankl: Hi everyone thanks for doing this. Can you talk about the overseas trips to London and Singapore? How valuable was the time you spent there to your education?
Renee: Hello Toby! Kelechi and I are both answering your question to give you two perspectives. The London and Singapore trips were both really amazing experiences. It was such a great opportunity to learn to work in teams with people from such varied backgrounds. The curriculum was not focused on the local economies, but rather understanding how to work with each other and gaining a cultural experience in the classroom. The program offices did do a great job of arranging activities that allowed us to experience the local culture, and the local campuses were very welcoming.
grego: what networking opportunities with alumni are available to the students?
Chris: Chicago Booth hosts a number of networking events that allow current students to liase/interact with alumni. In many cases, the career services hosts events (e.g., cocktail parties, dinners, events with prospective employers, etc.) that allow you to speak with alumni.
Steve: Is lodging assistance provided for students that commute in for class each week?
Toby: Hi Steve - Housing is not provided. We do have an optional hotel program for you to opt into from quarter to quarter. This is a program of convenience not necessarily cost savings but basically we make your reservations for you and you are locked in at a price at the same hotel for the entire quarter. We simply take the hassle of making all the reservations out of your hands.
Evan: how has the student experience in the second year differed from that in the first year?
Kelechi: Hi Evan, the experience is a bit different in the second year for several reasons. By the second year you would have gotten the hang of balancing work and school. Your ability to work in groups would have improved and you know how to navigate the personalities. Finally I think you start to make the connections with a lot of the material you learned in the first year.
Marsoi: How much focus the Chicago Booth E-MBA program tries to get on multi-cultural/multi-national diversity?
Renee: The is certainly a wide variety of backgrounds on each local campus (Chicago, Singapore and London), and during the international weeks, the exposure to different cultures increases significantly. So in the classroom I would say there is a lot of diversity, which definitely adds depth to class discussions and group work. The international experiences really add a great touch.
Marsoi: How competitive is the class environment? How supportive usually are the students and staff personnel?
Chris: Marsoi, since the students in the executive MBA program are generally well-established in their careers, there isn't usually a competitive situation in the class. In fact, you'll find that most of the students are REALLY helpful. For example, if you have a background in marketing but not accounting, you will find that most of your classmates who are skilled in accounting or finance will graciously help and come to your rescue. Competitive isn't the word I'd use...Camaraderie is probably more fitting.
Bill: Can you tell us if the cirriculum is geared towards students with a variety of backgrounds or is it more focused towards certain disciplines, such as finance or marketing?
Elizabeth: There is a heavy emphasis on quantitative classes (statistics, econ, finance, accounting, etc.) but we also have leadership, strategy and operations classes. I do not have a background in finance and accounting so I find the course work more challenging than some of my fellow classmates who come from these disciplines. I think I have to put in more time than they do but that is exactly the reason I choose Booth - I wanted the exposure to subjects that are outside of my background in operations, HR, customer service.
G-254487862: Did the students consider other schools when deciding on an EMBA program. If so, what was the one thing about Booth that stood out over other choices?
Elizabeth: Booth was my first choice and actually the only school I applied to. I felt like I was advancing in my business career but didn't have any background or confidence to speak about financial matters. I wanted to go to the strongest school I could get into in these disciplines in order to fill this gap in my knowledge and Booth was it.
Renee: In terms of why I came to Booth - I was impressed with the program, the alumni, and the curriculum. I liked the quality of the professors and the Booth brand is amazing...it's all been worth it!
Marsoi: Chicago Booth has a tradition/focus on financial skills development in its MBA programs. How is the E-MBA proposal? What focus should I expect during the E-MBA program?
Chris: You are right, Chicago Booth is perhaps most known for a rigorous quantiative MBA (e.g., finance, accounting, economics). My background is in marketing and I did not have a solid background in the quantitative courses. I had to study extra hard, acquire a tutor and rely heavily on my classmates to help me "grasp" many of the concepts. Both my proficiency and confidence have grown in these areas. You will find that these analytical skills will serve you well regardless of what your area of focus will be.
KBTolan: How much do you get to interact with the professors outside of class? Or do you only see them when they are teaching.
Chris: Hi KBTolan: You will find that the professors are quite accessible outside of class. Occasionally, they will have a drink with you outside of class or show up at lunch or dinner event. They are also available by email or office hours. They have a vested interest in seeing you succeed!
Bill: What is the job position for each of the students? Are you finding that classroom work is relevant to each of those positions?
Kelechi: Hi Bill, my current role is director of business development. Yes the classes have helped tremendously, for me investments, corporate finance, product development and marketing management have been the most useful in my current role
Elizabeth: I started the program as VP of Operations at a small company where I ran contracts, customer service, collections, HR and all the offices. I loved the fact that I could learn something on Saturday and come into the office on Monday and it was immediately relevant. Every week my perspective on things is changing a bit based on what I learn in class. Furthermore the relationship and network that I have developed with my fellow students helps is tremendously helpful as well. I use them on a regular basis to discuss new deals, provide referrals, etc. I am now working with a few startup companies and find the course material directly relevant there as well.
Marsoi: For Alumni what made you to opt for Chicago Booth instead of other also highly recognized programs?
Kelechi: I ultimately opted for Chicago because coming from a non business/finance background I felt Chicago would give me the appropriate tools to excel.
roy: what happens if a student changes job during the program, or even loses his/her job? how does that affect the student's status since employment is required at admission.
Patty: Hi, Roy. If a student's job situation changes while in the program, there is no effect on his or her status with the program. We expect that he or she is job searching and working actively with our career services team. Being employed while going through the program is a huge benefit for the student since he or she can apply what is learned in the classroom directly to the workplace.
G-254487862: Have any of the students utilized career services at Booth? What kinds of services are offered to EMBA students?
Renee: I have had preliminary discussions with members of the Career Services team, and have attended several Career Services events. The program office has done a great job of coordinating with Career Services to try to provide opportunities while we're all together on class weekends. In addition to industry happy hours, career panels and other group events, the Career Services office also provides for personalized assistance. There are career assessment tools that are used, and they are focused on helping you identify why you want to make a change, and what you're trying to get out of it. Also, the Booth alumni network I know has been a fantastic resource for many of our classmates.
Pramod: Are EMBA students allowed access to recruiting companies which come on campus to recruit full time students?
Toby: Hi Pramod - the answer is yes and no. Yes you have access to the list of companies that recruit on campus but you are not able to meet with them while they are here. There are a couple of things at work here - first we require a letter from your current company supporting your time away from work while you are in the program so asking for your company to support you and then turning around an giving access to on campus recruiting is a conflict of interest for us. Also the positions that recruiters are interviewing fulltime students for are most often junior to positions students in the Executive MBA program are interested in.
G-254484158: Thanks for your time today. In the Education section of the application, it asks, "If you belong to, or participate in, any civic, business, professional, or other similar organizations, please list them here." Would the students online please give some examples of what they shared, if they remember, and how far back in their experience did they go?
Chris: I can't recall specifically what I included on my application; however, I would suggest giving the admissions committee a sense of who you are when you are not at work or in the classroom. Experiences could include: volunteering or helping out in your community (e.g., Habitat For Humanity, church missionary work, etc), tutoring, mentorship, political campaigns you have worked on. In other words, what makes you unique? Do you belong to any professional associations? Hope this helps?
G-254511817: How feasable is a commute from California?
Kelechi: The hardest thing is scheduling group work because of the time difference with the east coast and mid west. However the team members were always very accommodating.nFlights are readily available however just know that you may be flying in late on Thursday nights.
G-254484158: Another question for the studentsâ€¦ Hopefully, this isn't too personal. Please let me know if it is. Do you plan to switch careers? Or are you hoping to advance in your current field? Also, do you plan to seek new employment or hope to advance within your current organization?
Elizabeth: I started the program with full sponsorship from my company and the intention to advance there. Circumstances changed and I actually left late last year looking to make a move from the corporate environment to a smaller start up. I am currently working with a few new companies (some through Booth connections) and using this network to find the right fit for me long term which is a huge advantage when considering new options - my fellow classmates are a wealth of knowledge and connections.
Renee: When I came into the program I was completely planning to stay in my current position. After going through about half of the program however, and being exposed to so many different type of careers and people, I started to think about making an honest assessment and consider what other options might be possible or interesting to me. I haven't decided to make a switch yet...the degree will certainly help me in my current career (financial consulting), but it's nice to know that the resources are available and that the degree carries a lot of water.
Marsoi: For Alumni - What abilities or experiences, counted the most to enhance your candidacy to Chicago Booth E-MBA program?
Chris: Marsoi, to my knowledge, the Admissions committee never reveals the "secret" to why they admit who they admit into the program. However, my suggestion is to tell them in your application who you are and what makes you special...meaning amid thousands of people who apply to the school, why should they select you? You'd be surprised at what you are able to add to your application that will strengthen your candidacy. This requires lots of soul-searching and introspection. Good luck. :)
Waseem: Is there any criteria for forming the study group, like geographic location of students and time zones or is it random?
Patty: Hi, Waseem. Study group formation is based on job function and industry with very little emphasis on geographic location.
Murray: How do you think about Kellogg EMBA program? Any difference and focus?
Toby: The question is how do YOU think about Kellogg EMBA Program or any other program for that matter. People have very specific and individual reasons for applying to any MBA Program. You need to determine what your primary reasons for earning the degree are and then collect as much information as possible, visit the campuses, interact with students, staff and alumni and make the best decision for yourself.
G-254511817: Do you have a sense of what percenteage of the current class flies in from out of town to attend Booth?
Toby: just under half of our students (45%) are flying in every other weekend. This includes students from both the east and west coast as well as Canada and South America.
G-254484158: For alums and studentsâ€¦ What is the one thing about your Booth experience that looking back on it, you wish you have done differently?
Chris: As a current student, if there is one thing I wished I had done before enrolling at Chicago Booth, it would be to take a course in Financial Accounting. This course is foundational to many courses you will take in the MBA program (e.g., Corporate Finance, Finacial Strategy, etc). The good news is that Booth does offer Pre-MBA courses in Accounting and Math, but I still wish I had taken an accounting course in Undergrad. It would have been a big help!
Moderator: The chat will be closing in 8 minutes. Please submit your final questions.
Pramod: What is a good place to show extra curricular experiences in Booth applications?
Toby: Extracurricular activites are generally found on a resume or you can take advantage of our optional essay questions which simply asks if you have anything else to add. This would give you a chance to share the activities and how your experiences add to your candidacy to the program.
Patty: Thank you, everyone!
Marsoi: How much involvement Chicago Booth students and staff have w/ community and social projects?
Chris: Since I live in Atlanta and fly in/out for class, I do not have much time to do other community/social projects while working full-time. I am VERY active in my church, however.
G-254511817: How many hours per week are students spending outside of class for studying, group meetings, etc?
Chris: Personally, I spend about 12-15 hours per week studying. Since I work from home (when I am not traveling) and am a morning person, I wake up about 6 am and study for 2 hours before getting ready for work. I do this during the week and generally reserve about 2-3 hours each on Sat and Sun to study on the weekends. But, I "try" to maintain some weekend time with my family.
Bill: Have any students had to miss classes due to personal or work related functions? If so, were you able to make up the work and keep up with the rest of the class?
Renee: Hi Bill - I did have to miss one class-day - my brother unfortunately didn't consult my school schedule when planning his wedding! It's certainly not ideal to have to miss, particularly when the courses are so compressed, but I gave the professors advance notice and they were very understanding, and my group members and classmates were great about making sure I was able to get caught up from what I missed. I was able to get caught up - but it's definitely preferred to be there as much as possible. It really helps to digest the material and get the most out of the experience.
roy: will today's transcript be available after the chat? are there archives of the past forums since I found very useful Q&As during the discussion.
Toby: Hi Roy - yes there is an archive and today's chat will be available later this week. Here is the link. http://www.chicagobooth.edu/execmba/chat/archive.aspx
Kelechi: Thank you for joining, best of luck with your application process!!!!
Patricia: Thanks for joining us. If you have questions about Executive MBA admissions, feel free to contact us at XP@ChicagoBooth.edu. Have a great day!
Renee: Thanks so much for your great questions - and good luck with the process!
Toby: Thank you everyone for joining us today - Hopefully you found it helpful. If you have any other questions or if we weren't able to get to your specific questions please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also remember to join us on Facebook, Twitter and Linked In to keep up to date on what's happening at Chicago Booth. Thanks again and have a great day!
Moderator: The chat has now ended. Again, the transcript for this live chat will be available online within 48 hours, at http://www.chicagobooth.edu/execmba/chat/.